Mercedes Benz and BMW expecting low sales for luxury hybrids?

Interesting | May 12th, 2009 by 2

You might wonder why I started the article with a question mark in the title, but since this is the first time we have heard …

You might wonder why I started the article with a question mark in the title, but since this is the first time we have heard about this statement coming from BMW, we weren’t able to verify it. That doesn’t really stop us from reporting what MotorTrend has published today.

According to Ernst Lieb, CEO of Mercedes USA, the expectations of their company in regards to hybrid cars sales are fairly low. As you might have seen in the past years, Mercedes has also increased their efforts in the “clean technology” field and many of their volume seller vehicles are offered with a hybrid or diesel engine.

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Obviously BMW has joined this game a while ago as well, we have seen the limited 7 Series Hydrogen edition  offered to a select group of people. More recently, we attended the launch of the first all-electric vehicle, MINI E, which made its debut together with the new 7 Series Hybrid and also the upcoming X6 Sports Activity Coupe powered by a hybrid engine as well.

More BMW hybrid vehicles are on the way, including some models from the 1 or 5 Series, but despite the increased efforts in the EfficientDynamics program, according to MotorTrend, the CEO of BMW USA, Jim O’Donnell, shares the same view as its Benz counterpart executive. Due to a decrease in the gas prices(which is debatable in our opinion), he doesn’t expect much in terms of volume sales, but the “green initiative” continues and if you ask us, it will not slow down. The future is definitely connected to clean technologies, more efficient cars and no auto manufacture will deviate from this path for many reasons, one of them ….the fear that the competition will position better for the future.

In the fall, BMW will launch the 755ih, a more efficient high-end luxury sedan, powered a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 petrol engine that delivers 407 horsepower and 442lb ft, working in combination with an AC electric motor that can add another 20 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque. The X6 Hybrid will follow shortly.

To prove our point mentioned above, Mercedes will also offer hybrid options to their premium customers by bringing out  two hybrids this year, one based on the S-Class limo and another on the ML SUV.

As an ending point, if the gas prices continue to increase, which we believe they will, a shift in consumer’s perception of diesel or hybrid technology will change again, and these sales will increase.

[Source: MotorTrend ]